How to Fix a Clogged Sink

DIY plumbing guide, showing how to fix any clogged sink in your home without the help of paid professionals.
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HomeClick.com DIY Plumbing Series: How to Fix a Clogged Sink

Welcome to our do-it-yourself guide to fixing a clogged sink.

As part of our DIY plumbing series, we’re excited to help our readers understand how they can easily solve most problems in their own homes.

With a little bit of instruction, some patience, and the right tools, you can keep your home running smoothly every day.

So you’re looking at a clogged, slow draining sink and wondering what to do. It’s a major problem because your sink gets used every day for a number of reasons. We’re here to get it back in running condition.

Oftentimes people look at plumbing work as solely the domain of paid professionals, but that is not the case for many common household ailments.

With just a few simple steps and one tool you should already have at home, you’ll be able to unclog your pipes and get your sink running free in less time than it takes to bake a pizza.

Sure, it might get a little bit gross for a second – clogs are rarely pretty – but performing this task on your own will be fulfilling, helpful, and most of all, completely free!

Based on an article on Homeclick.com.

See our full collection of DIY plumbing guides here.

Tools needed:

  • Basin or bucket
  • Adjustable wrench or pliers
  • Protective gloves
  • Towel

1. Empty the cabinet

If you're anything like us, you've got a lot of stuff underneath your sink, filling the cabinets to the brim. Take everything out of there, including all the cleaners, dish rags, and assorted sundry that builds up, and set it aside. You'll need room to work in.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a lot of stuff underneath your sink, filling the cabinets to the brim. Take everything out of there, including all the cleaners, dish rags, and assorted sundry that builds up, and set it aside. You’ll need room to work in.

2. Place bucket underneath trap

Now you can spread that towel out across the bottom of the now empty cabinet and then place your bucket or beneath the trap pipe. You'll be thankful for this step very soon, when things get wet.

Now you can spread that towel out across the bottom of the now empty cabinet and then place your bucket or beneath the trap pipe. You’ll be thankful for this step very soon, when things get wet.

3. Loosen the coupling

Right where it attaches to the downspout, you'll need to loosen the coupling with your wrench or pliers. If the pipe is all metal, you'll definitely need the wrench to loosen the nut you'll find here.


Right where it attaches to the downspout, you’ll need to loosen the coupling with your wrench or pliers. If the pipe is all metal, you’ll definitely need the wrench to loosen the nut you’ll find here.

4. Disengage the pipe

With that nut loosened you'll be able to disengage the pipe - that is, remove it safely. Here's where you'll be glad that you placed the towel and bucket below.

With that nut loosened you’ll be able to disengage the pipe – that is, remove it safely. Here’s where you’ll be glad that you placed the towel and bucket below.

5. Clear trap

Now you finally unclog the pipe itself by reaching up in there and removing whatever is stuck. It might be a little gross, so prepare yourself!

Now you finally unclog the pipe itself by reaching up in there and removing whatever is stuck. It might be a little gross, so prepare yourself!

6. Reattach the pipe

At this point you're nearly done. Just reattach the pipe by securely screwing the nut back on. Make sure everything is tight and leak free or you'll have water pouring everywhere.

At this point you’re nearly done. Just reattach the pipe by securely screwing the nut back on. Make sure everything is tight and leak free or you’ll have water pouring everywhere.

That’s it! Your sink is now clog-free and running smoothly, and you never had to pay for the services of a professional plumber.

If you’re like me, you might learn best by watching someone actually perform a process, rather than by reading alone. Here’s a great short tutorial video.

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